Tribe's big 3rd inning ends Rangers' win streak
CLEVELAND -- The Indians concluded a six-game homestand in overwhelming fashion on Wednesday afternoon. Cleveland used an eight-run third inning to power its way to a 12-3 rout of the Rangers, snapping Texas' seven-game winning streak in the process.
Each member of the Tribe's starting lineup scored at least one run and had at least one hit, and seven drove in at least one run in the offensive outpouring. Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis finished a triple and a homer shy of a cycle, respectively, and Carlos Santana and Nick Swisher each contributed a home run in the win for Cleveland.
"We got a couple runs early," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Then the third inning, any time you put up eight, that makes for a good day. That was good. We spread it out. Everybody swung the bat."
Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis was on the wrong end of the Indians' romp, allowing 10 runs (nine earned) and recording only eight outs. Robinson Chirinos hit a solo home run to the left-field bleachers in the fifth -- well after the Tribe spread things wide open. Leonys Martin added a two-run shot off reliever Scott Atchison in the ninth.
"He just couldn't get the slider where he wanted it," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Not as sharp. When the secondary stuff for Colby isn't sharp, the location with the fastball has to be at a premium. It just wasn't your usual Colby day."
Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco was the beneficiary of the barrage, but the starter did his part with a solid outing to wrap up a 4-2 homestand for Cleveland. Carrasco allowed just one run on five hits in eight innings, finishing with eight strikeouts and one walk.
"We had an 11-run lead, so they're going to be aggressive," Carrasco said. "You have to stay aggressive. That's what I did. I think [saving the bullpen] helped a little bit. The last two games, we used the bullpen a lot. I just went out there and tried to put zeroes on the board."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Elite eight: The Indians sent a dozen batters to the plate in their eight-run outburst in the third inning. Five players drove in at least one run, and Cleveland produced seven hits (four for extra bases) in its largest single-inning showing since April 20, 2013 (eight runs in the first against the Astros). Santana drew a walk, hit a homer and collected three RBIs in the third.
"Everybody was getting involved," Indians center fielder Michael Bourn said. "These games don't happen all the time, but when they do happen, it feels good. You just try to keep that momentum going into the next game that you play." More >
Switching things up: Santana capped off Cleveland's eight-run third with a three-run home run into the bushes beyond the center-field wall. That blast was the 104th of Santana's career, putting him in a tie with Indians great Carlos Baerga for the most in team history by a switch-hitter.
"How about that? That's pretty amazing," Francona said of Santana, who played with a sore left wrist after being hit by a pitch on Tuesday. "He's a pretty tough kid."
Hamilton flashes leather: Outfielder Josh Hamilton, playing in just his third game of the season, looked to be in mid-season form in left field. Kipnis led off the bottom of the first inning by slicing a fly ball down the left-field line, which Hamilton snared while crashing into the wall. Later, in the sixth inning, Hamilton made a diving catch on a sinking line drive off the bat of Chisenhall.
"That was fun, yeah," Hamilton said. "Off the bat you've got to go. You've got to have it in your mind the whole way on those balls that you're going to slide for. That's the plan the whole time. It's hard to bend over and catch, so you've got to get down there with it. It's fun." More >
Streak snapped: When Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus was removed from the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, it effectively snapped his streak of having hit in all 27 career games played at Progressive Field. Manager Jeff Banister indicated pregame he was looking to give Andrus a rest soon but kept him in the lineup due to his success in Cleveland. Everyday starter Adrian Beltre was also removed from the blowout.
"It was nice to get that left side of the infield off their legs, get them a little bit of rest," Banister said.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Lewis was charged with 10 runs (nine earned) on 11 hits in 2 2/3 innings in the loss to the Indians on Wednesday. The previous Major League pitcher to give up at least that many runs and hits in no more than 2 2/3 innings was also Lewis (July 10, 2014, against the Angels).
Kipnis' three hits gave him 46 in May. That marks the most in one month by an Indians hitter since Roberto Alomar had 54 in September 2000 (that includes one hit on Oct. 1 that year). It represents only the 13th time since 1950 that a Cleveland hitter had 46 or more hits in a month.
Bourn went 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI singles and a stolen base in the victory. It marked the first time since June 23, 2012, when Bourn was with the Braves, that he had two-plus hits, two-plus RBIs and at least one steal in a game. More >
Rangers: The Rangers return home to Texas, where they're just 6-13 this season, after a season-high nine-game road streak. They'll begin a four-game series against Boston on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. CT, with Nick Martinez (4-0, 1.96 ERA) on the mound for the opener. It will be Martinez's first career appearance against the Red Sox.
Indians: Ace Corey Kluber (2-5, 3.49 ERA) will aim to continue his recent hot stretch on Thursday, when the Indians open a four-game set with the Mariners at 10:10 p.m. ET at Safeco Field. The righty has gone 2-0 with a 0.72 ERA in his past three starts, which have included 37 strikeouts against just one walk in 25 innings.
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